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 Tu-204SM Completes First Flight

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MesajSubiect: Tu-204SM Completes First Flight    Mier 05 Ian 2011, 11:47

Titlu: Tu-204SM Completes First Flight
Sursa: aviationweek.com
Autor: Alexey Komarov
Data: 30.12.2010


Citat :
Aviastar-SP has completed the first flight of the Tupolev Tu-204SM, an upgraded version of the twin-engined aircraft aimed at giving the product a new lease on life.

The flight, on Dec. 29., took place at Aviastar’s Ulyanovsk facility.

The Tu-204 has been in production since 1989, but Russia’s aerospace industry is hoping that the enhancement being introduced now will help bridge the gap until the single-aisle MS-21 is fielded in significant numbers.

The aircraft, featuring 174-seats in a two-class layout, features slightly decreased airframe weight, more modern avionics package, a two-pilot cockpit, new auxiliary power unit and improved Perm PS-90A2 engines, designed by Russian Aviadvigatel in cooperation with Pratt & Whitney.

Next year, Aviastar-SP plans to produce another prototype, with a goal of completing type certification by 2012.

But whether the venture can really stave off the large inroads Airbus and Boeing are making in the Russian market is questionable. So far, only Red Wings, a Russian charter operator, is considering buying the aircraft, with a potential order of up to 44 aircraft under discussion. The airline is looking for more price discounts and commitments from the government to become the launch customer. Red Wings already is the largest single operator of the Tu-204.

This year, Aviastar has rolled out three Tu-204s (in cargo and passenger configurations) and now has more orders in its backlog.

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